Oak

Oak
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species
List of Quercus species

The term oak can be used as part of the common name of any of several hundred species of tree in the genus Quercus. The genus is native to the northern hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cold latitudes to tropical Asia.

The genus is divided into a number of subgenera, or sections, which include:

  • Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of West Asia
  • Suber, allied to cork oak of southern Europe
  • Robur, allied to the common oak of northern Europe
  • Leucobalanus, the white oaks of North America
  • Erythrobalanus, the red oaks of North America

The white oaks are further subdivided into the chestnut oaks and the rest of the white oaks, while the red oaks are further subdivided into the live oaks and the rest of the red oaks.

A hardwood tree, oak is used commonly in furniture and flooring. The bark of the Quercus suber, or cork oak, is used to produce wine stoppers (corks). Some European and American oak species are used to make barrels where wine and other spirits are aged; the barrels contribute to the taste. This species grows in the Mediterranean Sea region, with Portugal, Spain, Algeria and Morocco producing most of the world's supply.

Of the North American oaks, the most prized of the red oak group for lumber, all of which is marketed as red oak regardless of the species of origin, is that of the northern red oak, Quercus rubra (aka Quercus borealis). The standard for the lumber of the white oak group, all of which is marketed as white oak, is the white oak, Quercus alba. White oak is often used for the construction of barrels for aging wine.

oak tree in summer


Large Oak Tree

Some species of oak found in North America include:

  • Quercus agrifolia - Coast live oak
  • Quercus alba - White oak
  • Quercus arizonica - Arizona white oak
  • Quercus bicolor - Swamp white oak
  • Quercus chrysolepis - Canyon live oak
  • Quercus coccinea - Scarlet oak
  • Quercus douglasii - Blue oak
  • Quercus ellipsoidalis - Northern pin oak
  • Quercus emoryi - Emory oak
  • Quercus falcata - Spanish oak, aka southern red oak
  • Quercus gambelii - Gambel oak
  • Quercus garryana - Oregon white oak
  • Quercus grisea - Gray oak
  • Quercus havardii - Sand shinnery oak
  • Quercus incana - Bluejack oak
  • Quercus kelloggii - California black oak
  • Quercus laevis - Turkey oak
  • Quercus laurifolia - Laurel oak
  • Quercus lobata - Valley oak
  • Quercus lyrata - Overcup oak
  • Quercus macrocarpa - Bur oak
  • Quercus marilandica - Blackjack oak
  • Quercus michauxii - Swamp chestnut oak
  • Quercus muehlenbergii - Chinkapin oak
  • Quercus nigra - Water oak
  • Quercus oblongifolia - Mexican blue oak
  • Quercus palustris - Pin oak
  • Quercus phellos - Willow oak
  • Quercus prinus - Chestnut oak
  • Quercus pungens - Sandpaper oak
  • Quercus rubra - Northern red oak
  • Quercus shumardii - Shumard oak
  • Quercus stellata - Post oak
  • Quercus turbinella - Shrub live oak
  • Quercus velutina - Black oak
  • Quercus virginiana - Live oak
  • Quercus wislizenii - Interior live oak

Old World species of oak include:
  • Quercus acutissima
  • Quercus canariensis - Algerian oak or Canary oak
  • Quercus castaneifolia - Chestnut oak or chestnut leafed oak
  • Quercus cerris - Turkey oak
  • Quercus coccifera - Kermes oak
  • Quercus dentata - Daimio oak
  • Quercus faginea - Portuguese oak
  • Quercus frainetto - Hungarian oak
  • Quercus glauca
  • Quercus ilex - Holm oak or evergreen oak
  • Quercus infectoria
  • Quercus libani - Lebanon oak
  • Quercus macranthera
  • Quercus mongolica - Mongolian oak
  • Quercus petrea - Sessile oak
  • Quercus pontica - Armenian oak
  • Quercus robur - pedunculate oak, Common oak (British name), English oak (American name), or truffle oak.
  • Quercus suber - Cork oak
  • Quercus trojana - Macedonian oak
  • Quercus x turnerii - Turner's oak

above; bark of Quercus robur

above; timber of Quercus robur

See also; Trees of Britain, Trees of the world


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